We responded to a 911 call concerning the location of Middle Tennessee State University in the College of Education building in room #145, Murfreesboro, TN at 9:50 A.M. The 911 call came in at 9:45 A.M. when Jane Akers discovered the body in the faculty conference room.
Based on the information give by dispatch, Officer Taylor responded to the College of Education building on the MTSU campus. Upon arriving at the scene, Officer Taylor did not see any suspicious persons, witnesses, or vehicles leaving or entering the premise. Upon entering room 145, the faculty conference room, to the right lay a body face up with one gunshot wound in the chest. The victim was wearing blue jeans and an orange shirt and had no shoes on. From looking at the victim Officer Taylor could see it was a male. After searching the conference room for anyone who could be hiding and any other possible victims, Officer Taylor secured the crime scene and it was closed off to the public. The conference room had little furniture in it. By the victims feet was a single shell casing laying on the floor,although no gun was in sight. No medical assistance was needed hence the victim was already deceased and there were no other victims. Under exigent circumstances no warrant was needed to search the faculty conference room.
Part of the hallway that room 145 is located in was closed off from rooms 149 to 141 with police tape. With this hallway closed off, no one was allowed in except the Department secretary, Jane Akers, who discovered the body so that investigators could easily talk to and question her to find out any information that could possibly help the case. The entry point and exit point of all personnel involved with the crime scene was under the supervision of Officer Taylor, at the entry of room 145. Officer Nichols took photographs; Officer Negel took measurements (baseline being 18’11”), Officer Brashear began to bag and tag the evidence while lead Detective Isobe watched over everyone.
The officers working the scene in room 145 used the quadrant search pattern because it is easy for the sketch artist, Officer Radley, to use 90-degree angles when drawing the smooth sketch of the scene. Officer Nichols began photographing macro and micro pictures of the crime scene once it was secured. Entering the faculty conference room slightly to the right lay the body of the victim with one gunshot wound to the chest. Table 1 shows the measurements of the victims body measured from the baseline of 18’11”. Table 1
Next to the body, located below the victims feet was a single shell casing. Table 2 shows the measurements of the shell case from a baseline of 18’11”.
The gun that was used to shoot and the victim was not in the faculty conference room. After all measurements and photographs were taken, Officer Brashear checked all the pockets of the victim to obtain any identification or further evidence and found none. The body was checked for lividity and it was consistent with the rest of the body, hence it had not been moved.
The class evidence and the shell casing were collected by myself, Officer Brashear, and were all placed in their own evidence bag, and were handed to Detective Isobe to start the chain of evidence. There was no sign of a struggle, suggesting the victim had no chance to defend himself before being shot. A medical examiner, Dr. Garty, was called in to secure the body to be taken to the hospital, then to the crime lab for autopsy. After all the evidence was collected it was then transferred to the TBI crime lab for further testing. Since the murder weapon was not found anywhere in the faculty conference room, after an all exclusive search, the team moved the perimeter of the crime scene to outside the building to see if the weapon had been thrown out there.
Since the department secretary, Jane Akers, found the body Detective Isobe questioned her in an attempt to obtain any evidence that could give us any lead on who would kill the man in room 145. Upon speaking with Ms. Akers, she stated the dead man was Luke Bragg, a professor at the university. She also stated that the victim, Mr. Bragg, and another professor named John Smith had a heated argument in the past due to Mr. Smith believing that the victim had prevented him from getting tenure last month and that Professor Smith hadn’t been to the University in two days. Detective Isobe also some to the department chair, Lance Selva, who collaborated Ms. Akers statements. Although we did not have enough information to get an arrest warrant, we put out a BOLO for John Smith.